|Senate Commerce Committee Approves
Caller ID Bill
6/27. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC)
approved S 704 [LOC
| WW] the
"Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007". See, SCC
This bill is similar, but not identical, to HR 251 [LOC |
which is also titled the "Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007". The House approved
this bill by voice vote on June 12, 2007. See,
titled "House Approves Caller ID Spoofing Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,594, June 13, 2007.
The Senate version of the bill, which is sponsored by
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), would amend
47 U.S.C. § 227 to provides that "It shall be unlawful for any person within
the United States, in connection with any telecommunications service or
IP-enabled voice service, to cause any caller identification service to transmit
misleading or inaccurate caller identification information, unless such
transmission is exempted pursuant to" Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) rules. The bill provides that the FCC could
exempt anything that it "determines appropriate".
The House version of the bill adds a limitation to the basic prohibition --
"with the intent to defraud or cause harm". The House bill would leave the FCC
The two bills contain differently worded law enforcement exceptions.
The Senate bill adds a criminal prohibition. The House bill has none.
The Senate bill also authorizes enforcement by states. The House bill does not.
The Senate bill also allows for damages of up to "$1,000,000 for any single
act or failure to act".
|Senate Commerce Committee Again Approves
Bill to Create MSI Tech Grant Program
6/27. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC)
approved S 1650 [LOC
| WW], the
"Max Cleland Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology
Opportunity Act". See, SCC
Bills to provide grants to minority serving institutions (MSI) for technology
have also been considered in prior Congresses.
This latest bill, which is sponsored by
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), would create at the
National Science Foundation (NSF) an Office of Minority Serving Institution
Digital and Wireless Technology.
It also creates a grant program for MSIs. It also authorizes the
appropriation of $250,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
This is not a new bill. It is the 110th Congress version of
S 432 (109th
Congress), the "Minority Serving Institution Digital & Wireless Technology
Opportunity Act of 2005", and
S 196 (108th
HR 2183 (108th Congress). Former Sen. George Allen (R-VA) was the sponsor of
earlier versions of the bill in the Senate. He lost his bid for re-election in
2006. Former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) lost his bid for re-election in 2002. He
was the sponsor of an even earlier version of the bill,
S 414 (107th
Congress), the "NTIA Digital Network Technology Program Act".
These bills, which have enjoyed more success in the Senate Commerce
Committee than in the House, would provide grants to Alaska Native serving
institutions and Native Hawaiian serving institutions, among other MSIs.
|Senate Judiciary Committee Subpoenas
President, VP, DOJ and NSC Regarding Warrantless Electronic Surveillance
6/28. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman of
the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), issued
subpoenas on June 27, 2007, to the Department of Justice
(DOJ), the Office of the White House, the Office of the Vice President, and the
National Security Council (NSC) for
documents relating to an electronic surveillance program.
The SJC authorized the issuance of these subpoenas on June 21, 2007. See, story titled
"Senate Judiciary Committee Authorizes Issuance of Subpoenas Directed at Bush
Administration Regarding Surveillance" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,599, June 21,
Sen. Leahy issued a release
that states that these subpoenas seek documents related to "authorization and
reauthorization of the program or programs; the legal analysis or opinions about
the surveillance; orders, decisions, or opinions of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court (FISC) concerning the surveillance; agreements between the
Executive Branch and telecommunications or other companies regarding liability
for assisting with or participating in the surveillance; and documents
concerning the shutting down of an investigation of the Department of Justice’s
Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) relating to the surveillance".
subpoena [PDF] to Joshua Bolton of the White House Office,
subpoena to David Addington of the Office of the Vice President,
subpoena [PDF] to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and
subpoena [PDF] to Phillip Lago of the NSC. These subpoenas set a one month
deadline for compliance, and also compel testimony before the SJC on July 18, 2007.
None of these subpoenas are directed to either telecommunications carriers or
the National Security Agency (NSA), which
carry out this electronic surveillance. The NSA is a huge agency that carries
out surveillance programs. The NSC, which is the target of a subpoena, is a unit
within the Executive Office of the President.
President Bush has not yet responded to these subpoenas. However, on June 28, 2007, Fred
Fielding, Counsel to the President, asserted executive privilege as to other Congressional
Fielding wrote a
letter [3 pages in PDF] on June 28, 2007, to
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
(HJC), and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the
Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC),
regarding HJC and SJC subpoenas for documents related to the appointment of U.S.
Attorneys. The letter states that "the President has decided to assert Executive
Privilege and therefore the White House will not be making any production in
response to these subpoenas for documents."
The White House press office released Fielding's letter, as well as Solicitor
General Paul Clement's
letter [8 pages in PDF] of June 27, 2007, to President Bush, in which he
advised the President that "It is my considered legal judgment that you may
assert executive privilege over the subpoenaed documents and testimony."
|House Committee Holds Hearing on
6/26. The House Financial Services
Committee (HFSC) held a hearing at which the five Commissioners of the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) testified. The
SEC submitted prepared
testimony. SEC Chairman Chris Cox gave a lengthy opening statement.
Both the written testimony, and Cox, addressed the SEC's development of
interactive data, which is currently a voluntary program. See, the SEC's
interactive data web site.
The SEC testimony states that "the SEC itself is tagging the 2007 executive
compensation information for all of the S&P 500 with XBRL labels. We will soon
be posting a set of easy to use interactive data software tools on our website
that will make the executive pay data interactive. Beyond performing calculations and
comparisons online, anyone will be able to download the information directly into an Excel
spreadsheet or other software program of their choice."
It adds that the "SEC is committed to doing everything in our power to ensure
that XBRL remains an international, stateless, and open source standard".
The prepared testimony also states that the SEC "considering ways to
facilitate greater online interaction among shareholders by removing any
obstacles in the current rules, such as the ambiguity concerning whether use of
an electronic shareholder forum could constitute a proxy solicitation".
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), a member of the HFSC, asked Chairman Cox if the SEC
might permit public companies to change their charters to provide for mandatory
arbitration of shareholder disputes. Cox responded, "We do not have a pending or
proposed or more mature rule or procedure governing this." Cox also later stated
that "private litigation is a very important adjunct to SEC enforcement".
|Supreme Court Denies Cert in Case
Regarding Discrimination Against Foreign Attorneys
6/25. The Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCUS)
denied certiorari in LeClerc v. Webb, a challenge to a protectionist law of
the state of Louisiana regarding attorney admissions. See,
[12 pages in PDF] at page 10.
Supreme Court of Louisiana Rule XVII, Section 3(B) limits admission to the
Louisiana Bar to citizens of the United States and aliens who have permanent
resident status in the United States, but not aliens who lack permanent resident status.
The petitioners were citizens of France and Canada who have law degrees, and
who have been admitted into the U.S. under J-1, L-2, or H1B visas.
LeClerc and others filed complaints in the
U.S. District Court (EDLa) seeking a
declaration that Section 3(B) is preempted by federal immigration law and
violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
The District Court ruled against the foreign attorneys, and the
U.S. Court of Appeals (5thCir)
affirmed. And now, the SCUS's denial of certiorari lets stand these judgments.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) submitted
amicus brief urging the SCUS to deny certiorari. It wrote that the issues are "1.
Whether a state bar rule that allows citizens and permanent resident aliens to become members
of the bar, but that precludes aliens who are not permanent residents from becoming members,
is preempted by federal immigration law. 2. Whether that state rule violates the Equal
Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
This case is Karen Leclerc, et al. v. Daniel Webb, et al., Sup. Ct.
No. 06-11, a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the 5th Circuit, App. Ct. No. 03-30752.
Leclerc is represented by Jeffrey Sarles of the Chicago, Illinois office of the law firm of
Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw. The Innocence Network
submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of the petitioners.
See also, SCUS Docket.
|People and Appointments
6/29 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner
Deborah Tate named Chris
Moore to be one of her Legal Advisors. He was Deputy Director of the FCC's Office of Legislative Affairs.
Before that, he was a Senior Attorney-Advisor in the FCC's Wireline Competition
Bureau. He has also been detailed from the FCC to the office of former Sen.
Conrad Burns (R-MT). He has also worked for the USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS),
Kentucky Public Service Commission, and Sprint Corporation. See, FCC
6/28. Michael Baye was named Director of the
Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Bureau of
Economics. He is a professor at the Kelley
School of Business at Indiana University. He will replace Michael
Salinger, who will return to the Boston University School of Management.
See, FTC release.
6/28. President Bush nominated Christopher Egan to be the
U.S. Representative to the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Egan is President and Managing
Member of Carruth Capital. See, White House
6/28. President Bush nominated Donald Marron to be a member of the
Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).
Marron is Deputy Director of the Congressional
Budget Office (CBO). See, White House
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Saturday, June 30
Trade promotion authority expires.
|Sunday, July 1
Opening date for sending a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy
Materials to shareholders. See, the Securities and
Exchange Commission's (SEC)
rule [119 pages in PDF]
regarding voluntary internet availability of proxy materials. See also,
notice in the Federal Register, January 29, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 18, at Pages
4147-4173. And see, story titled "SEC Adopts E-Proxy Rule Changes" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,506, December 15, 2006.
|Monday, July 2
The House will not meet on July 2-6 due to the Independence Day District Work Period.
See, House 2007 calendar.
The Senate will not meet on July 2-6 due to the Independence Day District
Work Period. See, Senate 2007
11:00 AM. The
Heritage Foundation will host an event titled "Irrational Politics:
What's Happening to Free Trade?". See,
Location: Heritage, 214 Massachusetts Ave, NE.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the
Copyright Office (CO) in response to its Notice
of Inquiry (NOI) regarding the operation of, and continued necessity for, the cable
and satellite statutory licenses under the Copyright Act.. See,
notice in the Federal Register, April 16, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 72, at Pages
19039-19055. See also, technical correction
notice in the Federal Register, April 24, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 78, at Page 20374.
Deadline for those persons who are scheduled to testify at the
Copyright Office's (CO) hearings on
July 23 through July 26, 2007, regarding the operation of, and continued
necessity for, the cable and satellite statutory licenses to submit to
the CO copies of their prepared testimony. See,
notice in the Federal Register, May 23, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 99, at Pages
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its request for comments updating its
record on the Center for the Study of Commercialism's (CSC) Petition for Reconsideration
regarding stations that air home shopping programming and their status. See,
notice in the Federal Register, May 17, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 95, at Pages
|Monday, July 9
There will be no votes in the House.
8:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The
Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) will host
an event titled "Second Annual ETA Payments Education and Discussion Forum".
The ETA states that this event "is designed to provide Congressional staff,
regulators, and law enforcement with a working knowledge of the acquiring side
of the electronic payments business. Topics will include an overview of the
roles/responsibilities of entities in the payments system; the components of
an electronic transaction; and industry efforts to protect cardholder data." See,
notice [PDF] and
program agenda [PDF]. For more
information, and to RSVP, contact Rob Drozdowski at 202-828-2635 x203 or rob dot drozdowski at electran
dot org. A continental breakfast will be served. There is no charge. Location: Columbus Room, Union
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of
Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in SRI International v. Internet
Security, App. Ct. No. 2007-1065, a patent infringement case. Location: Courtroom
201, 717 Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court
of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Cybersettle v. National
Arbitration Forum, App. Ct. No. 2007-1092, a
patent infringement case. Location: Courtroom 203, 717 Madison Place, NW.
2:00 PM. The U.S. Court of
Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Dolby Labs v. Lucent
Technologies, App. Ct. No. 2006-1583, a
patent infringement case. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.
2:00 - 3:30 PM. The U.S.
Chamber of Commerce's Coalition Against
Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) will meet. For more information, contact
counterfeiting at uschamber dot com or 202-463-5500. Location: U.S. Chamber,
1615 H St., NW.
Deadline to submit petitions to deny and
initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) regarding its review of the proposed merger of XM Satellite Radio Holdings and
Sirius Satellite Radio. See,
Notice [5 pages in PDF] (DA 07-2417).
|Tuesday, July 10
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court
of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Nilssen v. Osram Sylvania,
App. Ct. No. 2006-1550, a patent infringement case. The
District Court (NDIll) held that the patents in suit are unenforceable for
several reasons, including that Nilssen did not pay a large entity fee to the
USPTO, but granted a non-exclusive license to a large corporation. Location: Courtroom
201, 717 Madison Place, NW.
Deadline to submit comments to the Rural
Utilities Service (RUS) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking regarding its
Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. The RUS proposes to change
its rules regarding funding in competitive markets and new eligibility requirements, new
equity and market survey requirements, and new legal notice requirements. See,
notice in the Federal Register, May 11, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 91, at Pages
|Wednesday, July 11
10:00 AM. The
House Commerce Committee's (HCC)
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection will hold a hearing
titled "From Imus to Industry: The Business of Stereotypes and Degrading
Images Hearing". Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Toshiba v. Juniper Networks, App.
Ct. No. 2006-1612, a patent infringement case involving telecommunications equipment.
Location: Courtroom 203, 717 Madison Place, NW.
2:30 - 4:00 PM. The Department of
State's (DOS) Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information
Policy (ACICIP) will meet. The agenda includes a "report on recent bilateral
discussions with China's Ministry of Information Industries and with Mexico's Ministry of
Communications and Transportation, as well as upcoming bilateral discussions with India's
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and with Brazil's
Ministry of Communications; and also to report on recent developments
regarding the President's Digital Freedom Initiative". See,
notice in the Federal Register, June 14, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 114, at Page 32939.
Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium, Harry Truman Building, 2201 C St., NW.
Day one of a two day event hosted by the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) titled "Spam
Summit: The Next Generation of Threats and Solutions". See, FTC
Spam Summit web page.
Location: FTC's satellite building conference center, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW.
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